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Gutwein Government Must Investigate Brahminy Program, Bring Tasmanian Kids Home

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Tags: Children and Young People, Out of Home Care, Ministerial Accountability, Brahminy

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Children spokesperson

The Gutwein Government needs to explain why it’s sending vulnerable young Tasmanians to a controversial and isolated Northern Territory intervention program. Tasmania is the only state still funding the Brahminy program, at the cost of $5000 per child, per week. 

Some of Tasmania’s most vulnerable young people have effectively been banished to the other side of the country, and legally they're the responsibility of a lying minister and a man with a false background story. If we can't do better by these kids, where do we stand as a State?

These are young people the Department has clearly put in the ‘too hard’ basket. Rather than deal with them in Tasmania, with the right clinical and therapeutic supports, they're being banished to the Northern Territory – and placed in the care of someone who apparently has fabricated their background story. 

This is on top of the fact that, from a statutory point of view, the person responsible for their wellbeing is Minister Jaensch, who is evidently more worried about saving his own political skin than the issues facing Tasmanians.  

The Department must undertake an urgent investigation into how they could be placing vulnerable children in the care of an apparent fraudster, and bring all Tasmanian children still in the Brahminy program home. 

We should have the right clinical and therapeutic supports in place for Tasmanian children in the out of home care system, so they're close to their communities and close to their families. Instead, these children are put in the ‘too hard’ basket and banished to the Northern Territory.

It's not good enough to have highly vulnerable, at risk kids sent to the Northern Territory – away from their families and support networks – and in the hands of an apparent fraudster. The onus is on government now to make sure every child in their care is safe and receiving proper care and support. 

This is the latest in a long list of failings in care and protection of Tasmania’s most vulnerable children and young people, now being overseen by a Minister who has a problem telling the truth in Parliament. How can Tasmanians have faith in this government’s administration of the Children’s portfolio under Roger Jaensch.